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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Down in Downtown Miami... Looking Up

For the past few days, I've seen a lot of new faces among the homeless in downtown Miami, close to my job. Two caught my attention. They chose to lie down, shirtless, on what has always been for me the most disgusting piece of concrete in all of downtown, by a sewage disposal, under the metro-mover, at the back entrance to Macy's. The stench of urine, feces, and all sorts of green chemicals (incongruously just meters and a double-door away from air-conditioned opulent fashion displays) is abhorrent, but these half-crazy men, laying there, asking indefinitely for spare change, consigned to their misery, is infinitely more shocking. Do they not realize anymore how low they've fallen? Not being homeless, bedless, shirtless, but specifically choosing to wallow in the filthiest block of perhaps all of Miami? "How can the image of G-d live in such a dumpster?," I pondered. Then I immediately thought, "Am I really any better?" I know that I could easily fall into something just like that, were it not for His constant mercy. And, even where I am right now, so fragile and vulnerable, compared to His Place is it not much worse than that filthy corner? Am I not homeless and shirtless when it comes to Torah and Mitzvot? And yet during this entire month, the month of the 13 Attributes of His mercy, the King leaves His Palace and comes into this lowly field, this empty lot, greets this half-crazy, nauseatingly dirty and pungent wanderer, smiles and asks, "What can I do for you My son?" "Take me home, Father. Take me home. Lift me up, help me walk, perhaps on the way I'll realize where I was and where it is that I truly belong..."
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